Filmmaker Nicolas Entel’s documentary Sins Of My Father tells the story of infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar from the perspective of his only son. He was one of the world’s most powerful and feared drug lords and Pablo Escobar has proved an irresistible subject for many films, TV shows, and documentaries. He was portrayed by Cliff Curtis (Fear The Walking Dead) in the 2001 biographical film Blow about drug smuggler George Jung and Benicio Del Toro played a fictionalized version of Escobar in the 2014 romantic thriller Escobar: Paradise Lost.
More recently, Escobar was the subject of the first two seasons of Netflix’s crime drama Narcos in which he was played by Brazilian actor Wagner Moura. Some films have offered an insider’s perspective on the notorious kingpin like Loving Pablo which was based on the memoir Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar by Colombian journalist Virginia Vallejo who had an affair with Escobar in the 1980s.
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But none give as intimate, revealing or honest a portrait of Pablo Escobar as Sins Of My Father. The 2009 documentary is told from the point of view of his son Juan Pablo Escobar, who fled Colombia with his mother and sister following Escobar’s assassination in 1993 and settled in Argentina, where he assumed the name Sebastián Marroquín. According to Marroquín he’d been approached by several filmmakers wanting to make movies and documentaries about his father, but it was Nicolas Entel’s assurance the documentary would not glamorize Escobar that convinced him to come out of anonymity.
Through never-seen-before photographs and home movies alongside original news footage, Sins Of My Father paints a multifaceted picture of the cartel kingpin – someone who was a loving father and family man but also a ruthless and violent criminal responsible for the death of thousands. Marroquín’s feelings towards Pablo Escobar reflect that duality as Sins Of My Fathers explores the love he had – and still has – for his father but also the immense guilt he carries over Escobar’s life and legacy.
Like its title suggests, Sins Of My Father is partly about Marroquín trying to atone for Escobar’s legacy. This culminates in him meeting with and apologizing to the sons of two of his father’s most prominent victims – politicians Rodrigo Lara Bonilla and Luis Carlos Galán, who dared to stand up to Escobar’s cartel and were assassinated. It’s a sobering moment that shows the effect Escobar had not only on his own son but the children of those he killed and a whole generation of Colombians too.
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